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A hard steel used for metal cutting tools as it remains hard even at dull red temperatures. It normally contains:
Tungsten 12 to 18%, Chromium up to 5% and Carbon 0.4 to 0.7%.
molybdenum based high-speed steel in tungsten-molybdenum series.
M36 is similar to M2, but with 8% cobalt added. The addition of cobalt increases heat resistance. M36 is also known as HSSE or HSS-E.
M42 is a molybdenum-series high-speed steel alloy with an additional 8% cobalt.
HSCo8 or 8% Cobalt or HSCo - this is high speed steel with 8% cobalt - this allows the steel to maintain properties at higher operating temperatures. The hardness is around 63.5 - 65 Rockwell hardness.
Review - Soba 12mm HSS Lathe Tools - These are not cheap, but a great way to get a set of tools to start working with.
See also: Lathe Tools